(C) 2006, Nintendo
Developer: Monster Games
US release: November 19, 2006
JP release: January 18, 2007
EU release: February 16, 2007
AUS release: February 22, 2007
The Excite franchise is back ! following from Exitebike and Exitebike 64, this time it's all about trucks ! and it's all about rocketing your trucks across dynamically changing terrain in this nitrous-injected, high-flying, action-packed racer !
The game doesn't have a story... this is a racer... so no comments here...
Excite Truck (also known as Ekisaitotorakku in Japan) is a racing game and it only uses the Wii remote sideways. When starting the game you must first go through a series of tests or practice runs before you are allowed to understand the controls and after finishing that, both the single and multiplayer modes are available in the main menu, the controls are pretty basic for a racer, but handled somewhat differently, you can lean the controller to the left or right you can turn your vehicle just like replicating handling the wheel, and there's much more, you can activate turbo in order to go faster, lean forward and backward in the air to glide or quickly go down to the ground, drift on a corner and even perform tricks in the air by just holding the d-pad and the brake (the 1 Button in this case) and lean the controller left or right many times and finally there's the A Button in which it makes you go directly in the correct way of the track if youâ€™re going the wrong way, but this will only work if the game allows you to.
However the main game (which is "Excite" mode), where you must compete in all of the cups in this mode, has one of its main characteristics that makes it unique which is it's "Scoring", in Excite Truck, crossing the finish line and end in first place is not the goal of this game's races, your main goal in all of these races is to obtain a certain amount of stars in order to achieve your grade, in which ranges from a D (lowest grade) to an S (highest grade), in each end of these races, and all tracks have a required number of stars to advance further in the game by at least having a B grade or above in each races, and you can earn these stars by doing stunts by being on the air, drift, ram on the trucks, collect rings in the air, run through the trees without crashing and doing stunts in the air, but you can also increase the value of these stars by still drifting for long, hold longer on the air, ram strongly on the trucks, collect a certain amount of the rings in the air, run through many trees and do many stunts in the air. There's also two power up-like objects that you can earn in certain moments of each race, one of them which is an exclamation mark in a circle that lets you change the land to make the levels even more "extreme" than they were originally designed like making a volcano erupt rocks to land on the racetrack, lower or higher the track to benefit you to go up in the air or even throw away trucks, and much more ! and then there's also the "MAX" power up-like object that when collecting it, you will go faster ! to the point in which you can destroy trees but also gives you a higher chance to reach at first place ! and let's not forget that you can crash in this game by either crashing on a tree or wall, going into darker-colored deep water, or getting rammed by your rivals, and when crashed, the game is slowed down and you must rapidly press the 2 Button to fill up the bar so that you can go back to the track and earn a bonus boost.
This game, while being different from the other games, it's still a spiritual sequel to Excitebike and Excitebike 64, because the game has updated many features that made the original games popular, like the giant cliffs and jumps from Excitebike that make you jump unrealistically on high altitudes with your truck, and it also has this importance of adjusting the angle of your vehicle so its wheels land parallel to the grounds for a perfect landing in order to gain a massive turbo boost, and there's also the overheating, where when you use too much of your boost, your engine will overheat, and this will temporarily reduce the top speed of your truck and you have to wait for it to cool down again, but driving the truck into shallow water will instantly cool the engine all the way down, so an infinite boost can be performed while in water and also while youâ€™re in mid-air !
The game can also be a little challenging though, in terms of the amount of stars you need to collect and the overall difficulty of the game, and there's also a challenge mode with three categories: "Gate", in which require you to go through many gates in the lowest time possible, "Ring", in which you must collect a ring and not miss one so that you can earn more in the next one, and "Crush" where you must ram all of the other trucks in the lowest time possible, and not to mention that each of the trucks have some statistics that grades what each truck is good at when it comes to the amount of boost that you can do, the amount of time it can go on the air, how well it handles, etc. when you are in the truck selection menu, I will give the game credit for having all of the truck to be greatly balanced and not any of them being the best and ruin the whole balance of this game.
The game also supports split screen two player versus multiplayer in a mode called "Versus" and in this mode, two people compete in a race to see who can obtain a higher score than the other, the one player who crosses the finish line first receives a bonus of 15 stars and additionally, once that first player has crossed the line, a 30 second countdown is triggered for the second player and in this, for each second that the second player has not completed the race, an extra star is awarded the first finisher and if the timer expires and the second player didn't reached the finish line yet, he is disqualified and he gets no score... sadly, it doesn't support up to four players and it doesn't have other rivals besides to two players either, so it might be a little lonely in these races.
I will admit this, but the game is really fun ! it's fast action-paced offering is really satisfying ! but the game has some flaws that really just ruin the experience for me, mainly the controls ! they just feel really slippery for me most of the time, like that one time where I was going up the hill I forced myself to go straight forward but, for some odd reason, it will always go either left or right without me even turning ! or when you're on the air, you can barely go left and right since most of the time you just twist and that's it, I even had some issues when controlling trucks that have a great handle ! and also the game is very limited when starting out though, since it first starts with three trucks and you can unlock additional trucks after you earn a certain amount of total stars, however the total number of stars you currently have isnâ€™t listed anywhere in the game, so youâ€™ll have to keep track of it yourself, in which that's a downer from me, but with these and many other flaws I still enjoyed this game somewhat...
The game does look good, while disappointing that it doesn't look like the early images of this game, it still does a good job at what it is supposed to look, the lightning is good, the fire effect might look a little outdated, and the water effect looks great ! the trucks do look great as well ! and the whole settings such as the cloudy forests, sun-shining beaches and snowy mountains do look good too.
Music and Sound
The soundtrack is... ok, it has this Rock & Roll theme complete with an electric guitar ! as well as another one that sounds just like a menu should be, the whole soundtrack sounds ok, not very memorable since you will be more focused on the gameplay (and maybe even the graphics as well !) rather than its soundtrack list... but one of the most unique features this game has is that you can actually insert an SD card with mp3 music in the Wii console and you can actually set the game so that you can select your music in the SD card to play in the races, in which I've got to say, it's a pretty impressive feature for this game !
The sounds are pretty cool ! the motors roaring and the boosts pumping all sound good, but it felt that it needed a little bit of impact on it, the other sounds are all still good though, there is no voice acting in this whatsoever so... and the game is english only, for those unfortunate who can't speak it.
The game's races take places on only six areas: China, Scotland, Mexico, Fiji, Finland and Canada and a secret track called Crystal Road (more on that later on) and the whole environment, being taken place in some places from real countries, is kind of accurate, it mainly takes place on one place the each of these countries is familiar with (like just the dessert in Mexico and just the beach in Fiji), but I've felt that it also needed more environments from each country rather than being just one, like cities, tracks that include the landmarks of each country, but as it stands, it still does an acceptable job, and as I've said before, the whole settings such as the cloudy forests look great and the sun-shining beaches and snowy mountains do look nice, it felt like it needed a little bit of more sets to make it more atmospheric, however as it stands it still does it job at being on a racing game, and the whole action going on around the game can be pretty chaotic and effective for you, meaning that it does its job right when it comes to the whole action-packed aspect of the game, due to the controls being slippery for me and that I felt that it needed some more countries to race in, I still enjoyed some of the whole aspects of it and the settings of the whole game as well.
The replayability in this game is nice, if not too simple and not that "branched out", but it might not be for anyone who doesn't like to race the same tracks over and over again... you can unlock other modes in the main menu like "Super Excite" Mode in which you must unlock it by completing all of the cups in "Excite" mode with each of the races with an S grade, and this mode is a harder version of the "Excite" mode and there's also an extra secret track in which is "Crystal Road" (in which it takes place on Nebula) that you can unlock by getting all of the S grades in each races of each cup in the "Super Excite" mode, and the same goes to "Super Challenge" mode in terms on how to unlock it only this time by doing it with the "Challenge" mode, and there's even a "Mirror Race" mode where it's more harder, in which you can unlock it by doing the same as before only with all of the cups in "Super Excite" mode.
And as I've said before, you must unlock other new trucks by collecting a certain amount of stars, and you can also put them a new paint job by running 10 races with that said truck and also an alternate method for the paint job by finishing three races with an S grade using that said truck, and as for any achievements-like accomplishments you can have special race icons by getting all of the S grades in "Super Challenge" mode and finally you have these trophies, in which you can earn and upgrade them by doing a certain five-star action in the races many times, and you can upgrade these trophies by making them bigger and more cool-looking depending on how many times you have done that stunt. for example you must get a five-star in the air stunt and you must do this 50 times in order to get a medium trophy.
The game is allright, I did had fun with its fast and action-packed feature of this game and it's unique feature of putting mp3 songs from your SD card into the game as well, however the slippery controls is what kind of killed it for me when it comes to the enjoyment of this game, however I've still enjoyed it somewhat, other things such as the graphics and some of the presentation could've been a little better, but the game still does a good job at what it does for a launch title for the Nintendo Wii, so if you like a good racing game on the Wii and looking for something unique in a racing game, then go ahead and get this, but if you're worried about the slippery controls that I've mentioned in this review, then give it a rent and see if you would enjoy it more than I did or not, but if you find this unappealing and you found the replayability to be kind of lackluster and don't like to steer by leaning with the Wii remote, then skip it, as for me this game gets...
7- Good This game may have a few flaws or may have somewhat shoddy controls, or minor sound/graphics flaws, but the game itself should be fun if you like the genre, and can overlook the potential flaws!
Last edited by Jnes5 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:07 pm; edited 3 times in total